A quiet spot in which to find peace

Wessex Archaeology recently excavated the largest known WWI practise battlefield comprising of over 9 km of fighting and support trenches and 300 m of subterranean tunnel systems. Over 300 pieces of soldiers’ graffiti were recorded and are currently being placed on a database.

The Larkhill practise battlefield was designed to be as close to the real thing as possible and British and Commonwealth troops all trained there. Live rounds and live grenades were used.

Sadly, 204 soldiers died during the training and were buried in the nearby Durrington Cemetery.


Deaths from training accidents were not uncommon – from exploding grenades to accidentally mixing live and blank rounds to bayonet accidents. Most deaths were of Australian and Canadian troops; 141 were Australian. Influenza and Pneumonia took their toll particularly during the brutal winter conditions of 1916-17. Training for the front then could be just as risky as serving on the front.

On Armistice Day this year, we remember all those who gave their lives and bring to light the dedication of those who trained and died in the Larkhill trenches, and in particular the large number of Australians:

George Alfred Adams

Harold Andreassen

Alfred Stanley Atkins

Kenneth William Ayliffe

Victor Roy Baker

Thomas Henry Baldey

Allan Barratt

Thomas Tait Blake

Frederick Bremer

Augustus Charles Brander

Albert Thomas Briggs

Thomas Richard Brittain

Arthur John Brown

Reginald Burtenshaw

Claude Arthur Butler

Herbert Chester Canham

Alexander Carmichael

Sydney John Carn

Ernest Carr

Robert Clarey/Carey

Harry Coles

Douglas Collins

Alfred James Cook

John Meyrick Cook

Norman Alan Cook

Thomas Henry Cooke

George Cowen

Richard Daley

Henry Darcey

Ormond Gladstone Darling

Thomas Joseph Desmond

William Thomas Dickenson

Frank Lionel Dixon

James Paul Donovan

Joseph Duggan

Thomas Dunn

Ernest Christian Theodore Eggeling

Henry William Elvery

James Lascelles Farrant

Owen Feeney

Clarence Floyd Fenner

William James Fowell

Hector Fraser

Edward Thomas Gay

Michael Phillip Geary

William Carson Gilchrist

Oliver Mathew James Goldsmith

Sidney Gooday

Ernest Leslie Goodwin

Gordon Ivo Greenfield

Leslie John Charles Phair Grundy

Harold Hainsworth 

Arthur James Halliday

James Henry Harper

John Edward Hawes

William Haythornthwaite

Clifton John Hill

Vincent Alexander Hinchcliffe

Victor William Hindhaugh

George Frederick Holmes

William Humphreys

Albert Victor Gordon James

Magnus Thomas Jamieson

John James Jenkins

Frederick Thomas Johnson

George Andrew Johnston

Stepney Wilmot Jones

Thomas Arthur Jones

Percy Edwin Jorgensen 

James Robert Kennedy

George Kirkpatrick

Solomon James Lane

Walter James Lansdown

Arthur Herbert Alfred Lehmann

Cyril Edwin Halse Ley

William Alexander Lilley

Joseph Patrick Lynch

Robert Francis Lyons

William Murray Macguire

Walter Reginald Martyn 

John William Mathews

Horace Greer Maynard

John Joseph McCallam

Patrick McCreghan

Patrick McElhenney

Martin McIntyre

Andrew McMurtie

John William McPhee

Clarence Rowland Gawn Medhurst

Herbert Robert Miller

Michael Montgomery

Alfred Moore

Patrick McManus Moran

John Leonard Mudd (served as Budd)

Donald Hector Murray

Thomas Francis O'Connell

Robert James O'Hara

John Patrick O'Leary

Leslie O'Neale

Henry Thomas Pantlin

Tasman John Paul

Arthur Stuart Pearce

Cyril Alfred Phillips

Stanley James Pickard

Bertie Frederick Pryme

David James Quinlan

William Razey Robinson

Hector William Rogers

George Bell Rogers

William Rice Ross

Edward Michael Ryan

Aubrey William Saggers

Charles Edward Sargentson 

John Francis Vaughan Scheibel

Herbert Hector Seefeldt

Edney Shadwick

Henry Walter (Walton) Sharp

Frank Stanley Shepherdson

Donald McMillan Spicer

Leslie Thomas Stevens

William James Supple

Robert Swan

Arthur Symonds

Wilfred Waddingham

Albert Ward

Bertie Watts

Frank Thomas Webster

George Wetmore

Albert Victor Wheatley

James William Whittaker

Percy Francis Williams

Samuel Williamson

Charles Alfred Wilson

John Thomas Alexander Wise

Albert Edwin Wolstenholme

James Woolley

Francis Robert Wren

Edwin James Wright

Reginald Dietrich Yeaman

Vivian Youl

Charles Henry Young